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China Bound

John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816 - 1980

Robert Bickers

(author)

Hardback
An unrivaled and comprehensive look at the 200-year story of Swire, a highly diversified, global group of companies including Cathay Pacific, with a rich and colorful history.
In stock
SKU
9781472949943
Price £26.10 RRP £30.00

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"a tribute to our better natures"

The Guardian

China Bound: John Swire & Sons and Its World, 1816 - 1980 A01 By (author) N Robert Bickers 234 153 BB Hardback 544 Bloomsbury Business Bloomsbury Publishing PLC London United Kingdom HBJF Asian history KJZ History of specific companies / corporate history 1FPCH Hong Kong 1.3 NHF KJZ Asian history History of specific companies / corporate history 1FPCH Hong Kong An unrivaled and comprehensive look at the 200-year story of Swire, a highly diversified, global group of companies including Cathay Pacific, with a rich and colorful history. From its origins in Liverpool in 1816, one unusual British firm has threaded a way through two centuries that have seen tumultuous events and epochal transformations in technologies and societies. John Swire & Sons, a small trading company that began by importing dyes, cotton and apples from the Americas, now directs a highly diversified group of interests operating across the globe but with a core focus on Asia. From 1866 its fate was intertwined with developments in China, with the story of steam, and later of flight, and with the movements of people and of goods that made the modern world. China Bound charts the story of the firm, its family owners and staff, its operations, its successes and its disasters, as it endured wars, uprisings and revolutions, the rise and fall of empires - China's, Britain's, Japan's - and the twists and turns of the global economy. This is the story of a business that reshaped Hong Kong, developed Cathay Pacific Airways, dominated China's pre-Second World War shipping industry, and helped pioneer containerization. Robert Bickers' remarkable new book is the history of a business, and of its worlds, of modern China, Britain, and of the globalization that entangled them, of compradors, ship-owners, and seamen, sugar travellers, tea-tasters, and stuff merchants, revolutionaries, pirates and Taipans. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in global commerce, China Bound provides an intimate history that helps explain the shape of Asia today. No-one writes the history of the British presence in China like Robert Bickers. In China Bound he tells the remarkable story, spread across two tumultuous centuries, of a family-owned company from Liverpool that made itself part of Asia. This is a tale of family, of empire, and of networks. -- John M. Carroll, Professor of History, The University of Hong Kong and author of 'Edge of Empires: Chines Elites and British Colonials in Hong Kong' This is the story of one of the major British companies in Asia. But it is so much more than that - it is a sweeping tale of how empire was formed, operated at its height, and then had to reinvent itself. Robert Bickers uses a wide range of materials, many of them never before seen by scholars, to tell a story of how Swire created new trade routes and connections in Asia, and how Asia in turn was shaped by the commerce of empire, before having to deal with war and the impact of the Chinese Communist revolution in 1949. Told with the style and verve that would suit the most buccaneering Taipan, this is a powerful and important history that will make its mark at a time when Britain's relationship with Asia is taking new and unpredictable turns. * Rana Mitter, author of 'China's War with Japan, 1937-1945: The Struggle for Survival' * Robert Bickers is Professor of History at Bristol University. His books include the prize-winning Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai, The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914, and Out of China: How the Chinese Ended the Era of Foreign Domination, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Wolfson Prize for History. 05032020 02 RRP including tax GB GBP 30.00 0.00 30.00 This price includes a tax element GB 10 Not yet available 05032020 6 BERT GARD Y From its origins in Liverpool in 1816, one unusual British firm has threaded a way through two centuries that have seen tumultuous events and epochal transformations in technologies and societies. John Swire & Sons, a small trading company that began by importing dyes, cotton and apples from the Americas, now directs a highly diversified group of interests operating across the globe but with a core focus on Asia. From 1866 its fate was intertwined with developments in China, with the story of steam, and later of flight, and with the movements of people and of goods that made the modern world. China Bound charts the story of the firm, its family owners and staff, its operations, its successes and its disasters, as it endured wars, uprisings and revolutions, the rise and fall of empires - China's, Britain's, Japan's - and the twists and turns of the global economy. This is the story of a business that reshaped Hong Kong, developed Cathay Pacific Airways, dominated China's pre-Second World War shipping industry, and helped pioneer containerization. Robert Bickers' remarkable new book is the history of a business, and of its worlds, of modern China, Britain, and of the globalization that entangled them, of compradors, ship-owners, and seamen, sugar travellers, tea-tasters, and stuff merchants, revolutionaries, pirates and Taipans. Essential reading for anyone with an interest in global commerce, China Bound provides an intimate history that helps explain the shape of Asia today.
More Information
Book publisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication date5 Mar 2020
FormatHardback
Pages544
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